The Odisha Police on Saturday said Delhi-based journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra was arrested not for his Twitter post on 'rasogolla', but for hurting the sentiments of the Odia people, among other reasons.
The Odisha Police's statement came in response to media reports which claimed that Mitra had been arrested for his year-old Twitter post about the origin of 'rasogolla'.
Media reports part of a malicious campaign against us: Police
The Odisha Police's statement said, "The media reports are absolutely false and mischievous. His frivolous comment on rasogolla is not at all a ground for legal action against him."
It also said that the reports were part of a malicious campaign aimed at maligning the state police by "propagating a false propaganda" and to cover the "actual deeds" of Mitra.
The journalist made derogatory comments against Lord Jagannath: Police
The Odisha Police said the accused journalist was arrested on the basis of FIRs lodged against his "derogatory, mischievous and objectionable comments" on art and culture of Odisha and Lord Jagannath.
Another case was registered at Konark police station in Puri district on September 19 under various Sections of IPC, Information Technology Act, and Ancient Monument & Archaeological sites & Remains Act, they said.
Mitra's remarks promoted enmity between different religious groups: Odisha Police
"The malicious and objectionable comments by Mitra have outraged feelings of people of different religions (Sec 295-A IPC). The remarks have also promoted enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and are prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (Sec 153-A IPC)," the police statement said.
Mitra posted objectionable word 'sala' for the entire Odia-community: Police
The police statement further said that moreover, Mitra uttered the derogatory words with a deliberate intent to wound religious feelings (Sec 298 IPC).
Besides, Mitra's malicious and defamatory comments have also hurt the religious feelings of devotees of Lord Jagannath.
"He further incited the public by posting objectionable word 'sala' for the entire Odia community," the police said.
Later, Mitra also apologized for his anti-Odisha comments
In September, Mitra had posted a video on his Twitter handle where he "criticized Odisha, its people, Lord Jagannath, Konark temple, and also Odisha lawmakers."
He was arrested on Tuesday after he tendered an unconditional apology before a House Committee of the state Assembly over his alleged anti-Odisha remarks.
A court granted two days' police remand for his custodial examination on Friday.